The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 31 satellites, including the Cartosat-2 series, in the second week of December. ISRO Chairman Mr A S Kiran kumar said that the PSLV will carry the satellites from Sriharikota. “Of the 31 satellites, 28 belong to other countries,” he said. Referring to the IRNSS launch failure, he said a glitch led to it. “The satellites couldn’t be placed in the orbit due to many external and natural causes, more than technical problem. But this failure won’t affect future launches,” he maintained. The remote sensing satellite Cartosat offers multiple services. The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other such data. The ISRO chairman said private players in space research will have more opportunities in coming days. “From building satellites, launch vehicles, software and hardware many opportunities will emerge,” he said. He said allowing private players in making launch vehicles was a sensitive issue. “So many approvals are needed for this. But we can say that by 2020 we can expect private companies in the sector. The private participation will further expand the sector,” he added. He said startups were being encouraged to play bigger roles. “A startup called Bellatrix has been given the contract of making micro thrusters. We will provide them the necessary support. We are also encouraging startups to come up with software that will help us,” he said.
Chandrayan-2 in March
Kiran Kumar said Chandrayan-2 would be launched in March 2018. A final testing of lander, rover and other equipment is ongoing following which the unit will be assembled. Adityayana-1 will be launched in 2019 to study the Sun, he said.